Sitting down with Dean Salakas, Chief Party Dude/Co-CEO at The Party People to chat people, the oppressive chokehold of Outlook, and a whole lot of fishing.
1. What is your favourite part about your job?
I love that we help people create precious memories. I love getting involved in serving customers and helping them have an event they will remember for ever and its actually hard for me to stay away from that and focus on running the company. When I am walking around the store, I just can’t help but ask customers if they need help and then enjoy helping them.
2. Who was your childhood hero?
My dad. My dad is just a cool guy. Some times I think all my friends like catching up with him more than they enjoy catching up with me. He loves to joke around and have fun. As a father he was just always there in my big sporting moments. Unfortunately my mum was working so I didn’t appreciate that she was equally the hero at the time.
3. What is one of your guilty pleasures?
I love to go fishing, it a passion of mine. While time is hard to come by with a family, I will sometimes go down for a fish on a weekday after dropping the kids off to school by tossing out a line and then working on the laptop while I wait for a big one to hook on.
4. What is one song that you would request a DJ to play at a party?
I’m Still Standing – Elton John.
5. How do you typically unwind after a long day?
Read my kids a story and cuddle them in bed. After that, my brain has stopped running and I find it easy to just go to bed and wake up early. I start my day at 4-5am usually. At 4am, I really like to rip into the harder tasks for the day.
6. What’s on the top of your bucket list?
Catch a Marlin, Tuna and catch a Kingfish over 1m from land.
7. What’s the farthest you’ve ever been from home?
I have been fortunate enough to travel most of the world. Japan was my favourite of the destinations.
8. What is the most impressive thing you know how to do?
I would have to say catching Kingfish from land. I average over 1.5 fish per outing over half a meter.
9. What risks are worth taking?
The ones that result in a slap on the wrist and not the ones that result in jail time.
10. What do you enjoy about this industry?
By far the best thing is the people. People in this industry are very generous and sharing and we all love to see our peers success (and feel the pain on some of the failures). I find its more about celebrating success and not so much tall poppy. My business and even me personally are much better off because of the people I have met over the years through the online retail community.
11. What was the last thing you bought online?
SD card for my GoPro. I don’t have any “one that got away stories” when I go fishing….everything is caught on camera.
12. Whats your most-used App on your phone?
Outlook, My life is run by email.
13. If you could have dinner with anyone, living or dead, who would it be?
14. Say you’re stranded on a desert island (and all basics are met), what are three things you would take with you?
A fishing rod, a chair and my laptop.
15. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
16. Whats something everyone should try at least once?
Catching your own Sashimi. Doesn’t get any fresher and you really can taste the difference.
17. If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
My superpower is definitely analysing or solving problems with Microsoft Excel or Access. I just seem to see the problem, see the data and instantly see how to develop the solution in my head and then execute it. Back when I was working at Woolworths, I just seemed to be able to do that. I guess I understand the business side of things and the technical side of working with data and can bring the two together. We recently made an acquisition and I really did enjoy putting my super power to work.
18. If you had the opportunity to take an international gap year and do whatever you wanted, where would you move and what would you do?
Japan, Kingfisherman for the sushi industry.
19. What is one skill you would love to master?
20. What did you want to be when you were five years old?
Im not exactly sure about 5 but I was very into geology growing up. I was into gemstones. I love finding them, collecting them and cutting them into jewellery. I was and still am a bit of a geek.
You can find Dean at The Party People.
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